The fate of US operations of Chinese video app TikTok is still uncertain as both the White House and the owner of the platform, ByteDance, say that no final agreement has been reached so far.
The Chinese company said on Thursday that the arrangement with US tech giant Oracle still requires the official approval by both Chinese and US authorities.
“We are indeed discussing a cooperation plan with some companies to address US govt’s concerns over the security of US users’ data. The plan does not involve the sale of business and technology, and a final deal has not been signed yet,” ByteDance said as cited by China’s Global Times newspaper.
The statement comes shortly after President Trump said that he is not “going to be happy” if parent company ByteDance keeps a majority in the embattled social media app. It was earlier reported that under the latest proposal, Oracle, the main bidder for TikTok’s US assets, would only have a minority stake.
“We don’t like that. I mean, just conceptually, I can tell you I don’t like that. That has not been told to me yet,” Trump told journalists on Wednesday evening. Trump expects to receive a more detailed report on the deal later on Thursday.
“It has to be 100 percent as far as national security is concerned,” he noted. “I’m not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal.”
The Trump administration has maintained that Chinese tech companies, including Huawei and TikTok, can pose a national security threat as they allegedly share data with the Chinese government. While the Chinese firms have repeatedly denied those claims, the US has threatened to ban TikTok on its territory unless it is acquired by an American company.
Last month, Trump said the US government should get a “very big proportion” of the sale price if the deal proceeds. It turned out that no one knows how that could work and that such a payment may have no legal grounds.
“Amazingly I find that you’re not allowed to do that,” Trump said, referring to the idea of receiving money for the deal. “What kind of a thing is this?”
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